FSU’s Unconquered Scholars Program recognized as ‘Model of Excellence’

An innovative Florida State University program that helps students who have faced profound hardships during childhood increase their chances of success in college has won national recognition. 

FSU’s Unconquered Scholars Program, which provides support services to students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, relative care or ward of the state status, has been named as a “Model of Excellence” by University Business magazine. 

The magazine honors colleges and universities that have implemented innovative, cross-departmental programs to foster student success. Florida State is one of 17 colleges and universities nationally to receive the honor in the winter 2015 round of awards. 

“We are excited about this recognition,” said Tadarrayl Starke, director of CARE. “This honor is a testament to the dedication of CARE faculty and staff to the academic and overall success of our students, as well as the commitment of Florida State University in ensuring traditionally underrepresented students have an opportunity to succeed in higher education.” 

Established in 2012, the Unconquered Scholars Program is housed in the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE). The program collaborates with partners across campus to offer services that include college life coaching, tutoring, financial aid assistance, mental health counseling, and academic and skills workshops. 

Research indicates former foster youth are far less likely to earn a degree than their non-foster care peers. Florida State is committed to meeting the unique needs of Unconquered Scholars and empowering them for educational attainment and long-term independence. 

Since its inception, 91 percent of students in the Unconquered Scholars Program have been retained and posted a combined grade point average of 3.01. 

The Unconquered Scholars Program is featured in the current print edition of University Business magazine as well as online. The Models of Excellence program profiles honorees to share information and ideas for replication by other institutions.